Posted by Nina Bhattacharyya, Natural Resources Specialist, USDA Office for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Manufacturing in
Local communities face many challenges when mitigating and adapting to climate change. Cities across the country are suffering from the effects of rising natural disasters, limited resources, rising sea levels and other impacts. Municipalities and stakeholders have the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase food security by addressing food loss and waste.
It is estimated that 4% of US greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to uneaten food . In the United States and beyond, food is wasted along all parts of the supply chain. Therefore, a variety of local strategies and tools are needed to address this problem, including preventing food waste, connecting excess healthy food to those who need it, and composting food scraps. Resilient cities are those that have a sustainable and equitable food system that includes a strong food recovery network and solutions for reducing food waste.
The United States Department of Agriculture recognizes the need for community resources to address food loss and waste. Through the 2018 Farm Bill, the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (OUAIP) established the pilot program for composting and reducing food waste. The program supports projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing food waste reduction plans and composting plans. OUAIP has announced the latest funding opportunity for local governments, school districts and Native American tribes to host pilot projects for fiscal year 2022. Applications will be accepted on Grants.gov until September 1, 2022. Find out more more about the program and previous recipients by visiting the Composting and Food Waste Reduction Agreements web page.